Random security searches on Amtrak

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Amtrak is officially announcing today that it'll begin random searches of passengers' carry-on bags—the system is modeled after the one used in New York City subway stations. Does this strike anyone else as a waste of time and money, or worse, something that's bound to lead to racial profiling?

If the system really is random, can Amtrak truly expect to catch someone planning a terrorist attack? And if it's not random, then how will the security screeners decide who to search? What are the odds they'd single out someone like, say, Timothy McVeigh? As much as I don't like the TSA screening process at airports, I feel a heck of a lot safer on an airplane than I do riding the New York City subway every day to and from work.

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